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Hostess on track to sell its pastries unit

Twinkies could be back on store shelves by summer.

Hostess is moving ahead with plans to sell the brand, and one of the new owners says the spongy cream-filled snacks could be back within a few months.

The bankrupt company had earlier picked a $410-million joint offer from Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management as the "stalking horse" bid to set the floor for an auction.

In a document filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Monday, however, Hostess Brands said the auction would not be held because no other qualified bids were submitted for its pastries, which also include Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.

In a statement, Metropoulos & Co. CEO and founder Dean Metropoulos said the firm was looking forward to having "America's favorite snacks back on the shelf by this summer."

A spokesman for Hostess said the company had no comment on the lack of competing bids for the snack cakes. Previously, Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn had predicted the process would be "wild and woolly."

Hostess had also canceled an auction for its Wonder and other major bread brands after no competing offers were made. Those breads are being sold to Flowers Foods, which is based in Thomasville, Ga. The final sales of the breads and Hostess snack cakes are set to be approved in bankruptcy court Tuesday.

-- AP

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